April Connors explains what happens at Gnomon's High School Summer Camp and shares her tips for becoming a CG artist when you graduate
If you want to be a CG artist when you graduate from high school, the summer vacation is a great chance to practice your skills. Gnomon - School of Visual Effects, Games and Animation's High School Summer Camp takes that a step further, giving you a chance to spend a week with other people who share your passion for art, learning from some of the entertainment industry's best-known artists.
young artists, courses like Summer Camp help in a variety of ways,”
April Connors, who
teaches this year's classes on
Drawing for the Entertainment Industry. “They can be a deciding factor
in choosing an art school; they can help you meet like-minded people;
or they can be a chance to talk to professional artists and see the
different career possibilities."
Equally importantly, when you come to apply to art school, courses like the Summer Camp will help give you an idea of how to improve your skills on your own so you can work on your portfolio.
Held at Gnomon's campus
in the Television Center Building in the heart of Hollywood, High School Summer
Camp gives you the chance to try out new skills under the guidance of a
professional artist. There are typically 12 – 15 students per class,
so everyone gets a fair share of their instructor's time, and there is a
different guest speaker each day. Lunch and all of your materials get provided, and there are no admission or
portfolio requirements, so anyone aged 15 to 18 can sign up.
Separate courses cover Digital Painting and Digital Sculpting
and provide an introduction to 3D Animation, Games and Visual Effects, while April's
class focuses on the drawing skills you'll need to design characters,
creatures, vehicles or environments for companies like
Disney or Blizzard Entertainment.
“Over the course of the five days, we'll begin to lay the
foundation for the draftsmanship that you need to work commercially,” says
April, whose own work has been exhibited everywhere from Mexico to
Hong Kong. “Most of the exercises we will do during class are also ones you can
do at home to supplement your studies.”
Although there are no homework assignments, expect to work hard from 9 AM to 5 PM each day – but also to have fun doing so.
“By the end of the week, I expect everyone’s drawing skills will have improved, and I'm hoping that you will have an idea of the discipline, time and energy needed to take things further,” says April. “I want people to walk away feeling the hard work necessary in learning to draw, but also the sense of accomplishment that comes as a reward for that hard work.
This year's High School Summer Camp takes place at the end of June. If you want to find out more, the links at the foot of this story should tell you everything you need to know. And if you want to get a head start (or if you just want to practice at home), here are April's five tips for becoming a better artist:
1. Start a sketchbook
You never know when inspiration will strike. Keep a sketchbook and a drawing utensil on you at all times, ready to go at a moment's notice.
2. Talk to everyone
Good artists try to find out about the world. Try to have conversations with new people; you'll learn a lot about lots of things.
3. Go places and do things
Art comes from experience. If you keep making new experiences, you'll always have something to say.
4. Feed your other senses
Eat really good food – even food you don't like; eat everything. Find flavors that excite you and make you feel things.
5. Listen to lots of music and dance
Physical activity helps you understand musculature and anatomy. It'll also do wonders for your sense of line, acting, storytelling, and design!
Find out more about Gnomon's High School Summer Camp
Need more details? Read answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Want to see where you'll be studying? Check out the campus
Still have questions? Speak to one of Gnomon's advisors
Founded in 1997, Gnomon has trained thousands of students and professionals for careers in the entertainment industry. Find out more